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In memory of: J. Fred Evans 

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Knights of Columbus 


A complete ritual and 
history of the first three 
degrees^ including all 
secret "work." By a 
former member of the 

Profusely Illustrated 

An Historical Sketch of the Institution 




Ezra A. Cook 

26 E. Van Buren St., Chicago, IHc 

Copyright 1918 


Ezra A. Cook, Publisher, (Inc.) 

Table of Contents 


Preface ix 

Historical Sketch - - - - 13 

Chronological and Statistical - 19 

Diagram of Council Chamber - -26 

Title of Officers, etc. ... 27 

Instruction 28 

Order of Business - 31 

Opening Ceremonies - - - 33 

Closing Ceremonies ... 39 

Initiation, First Degree - - - 41 

Initiation, Second Degree - - 49 

Diagram of Council Chamber 

for Third Degree - - 54 

Preparation, Third Degree • • 55 

Initiation, Third Degree 

First Section - - 59 

Second Section - - 65 

Third Section - - 69 

Fourth Section - - 73 

Secret Work - 89 

"At the devil's booth are all things sold; 
Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold. 
For a cap and bells our lives we pay, 
Bubbles we earn with a whole soul's tasking, 
'Tis heaven alone that is given away; 
'Tis only God may be had for the asking." 



During the past years the many activi- 
ties in which the Knights of Columbus 
have been engaged, both political and 
religious, have brought them before the 
public notice continually, thus creating a 
tremendous demand for literature con- 
cerning the Order. 

For an organization that has been in 
existence so short a time to have reached 
a membership of nearly one half a mil- 
lion seems phenomenal, but such are the 
facts. It has been the rapid growth of 
the Fraternity which has prevented the 
Publishers from presenting the public 
with a complete ritual heretofore, as the 
ritual has been changed several times, and 
not until the order had adopted some- 
thing like a permanent work did the Pub- 
lishers feel warranted in issuing this pub- 
lication. After having made careful in- 
vestigations, and having had the present 


work authenticated, we feel great confi- 
dence in now placing this ritual before 
the public as complete, with signs, pass- 
words and grips, giving in detail a full 
history and general sketch of the progress 
of the Society, with information which 
has heretofore been unpublished, concern- 
ing the objects and requirements of mem- 
bership in this organization. 

Being a religious, as well as a secret 
order, its secret workings have aroused 
unusual interest, and the Publishers feel 
that they have satisfied a general demand 
in presenting this volume, with the full 
First Three Degrees. 

This exposition, while being issued 
complete, and as giving the authentic 
work now used in all Knights of Colum- 
bus Councils, is not issued with any mal- 
ice towards the organization. It is not 
intended as an exposure, but is intended 
as a guide to those contemplating joining 
the Order, who desire previous informa- 
tion regarding the organization, and it is 
also intended that present members who 

are desirous of obtaining a higher degree 
may use this volume in attaining greater 
proficiency in the various degrees. 

The Publisher. 



An Historical Sketch 

The Knights of Columbus is a Roman 
Catholic organization whose membership 
is confined to men affiliated with that 
church. Taking its name from the dis- 
coverer of America, it is interesting to 
note that the first Council to receive a 
charter was given the name of San Sal- 
vador, the island on which Columbus 
landed in 1492. 

The moving spirit in promoting the 
birth of the order was the Reverend M. 
J. McGivney, then curate of Saint Mary's 
Church in New Haven, Connecticut. He 
was ably assisted by the Reverend P. P. 
Lawler, Cornelius T. Driscoll, Michael 
Curran, William M. Geary, Bartholo- 
mew Healey, Daniel Colwell, John T. 
Gorrigan, Dr. M. C. O'Conner, and 
James T. Mulligan. 


Through their efforts an organization 
was effected at New Haven on February 
2, 1882, and as incorporators, a charter 
secured under the laws of Connecticut, 
on March 29 of the same year. As de- 
fined by the charter the purposes of the 
society are: 

1. To furnish insurance to its members, 
and at least temporary financial aid to the 
families of deceased members. 

2. To develop practical Catholicity 
among its members. 

3. To promote Catholic education and 

Such are the avowed purposes of the 
founders. In its organization, however, 
there was an unexpressed but clearly de- 
fined purpose which has no doubt im- 
measurably accelerated its growth. For 
ages there has been a lack of harmony be- 
tween the Catholic clergy and Secret So- 
cieties in general. 

The mysteries of an oath-bound, secret 
organization, meeting behind guarded 


doors, admission to which can be gained 
only by whispered words; a friendly grip 
of the hand that carries with it the thrill 
and remembrance of common experi- 
ences, and at the same time adds a feeling 
of ease and security even among strangers 
— these have been alluring to men in all 
times, but have never been favorably re- 
ceived by the Catholic clergy. 

To combat the influences of such so- 
cieties outside the pale of the church, the 
idea was evolved of supplying to the men 
a society combining all of the elements of 
a secret order, and at the same time keep- 
ing its movements under surveillance of 
the Catholic clergy, as may be witnessed 
by the following conditions of member- 

1. All Apostolic Delegates, Cardinals, 
Archbishops and Bishops are Ex-Officio 
members of the order, entitled to admit- 
tance on all occasions. 

2. All Priests, secular and regular, may 
join the order without examination, but 
must pay their dues to remain in good 


3. All male members of the Catholic 
Church who are over sixteen years of age, 
and in good standing, are eligible. They 
must, however, show that they are Cath- 
olics, have made their last Easter duty, are 
willing and will pledge themselves to live 
up to the laws of the church. 

Application for membership may be 
made by candidates fulfilling these re- 
quirements and their petitions ballotted 
upon at any regular meeting of a council. 
If elected the candidates may be initiated 
and admitted to full membership in the 
order. Initiations are given to classes of 
ten or more candidates. The larger the 
class the more lasting and impressive are 
the lessons taught through the ceremonies 
of the initiation. 

In order to become a candidate for 
membership in this organization, the 
party desirous of joining must have a 
Knight in good standing present his name 
before a meeting; application blank will 
be furnished him, which must be signed 
by his Parish Priest; this is turned over 


to the investigating committee, who pro- 
ceeds in the usual way to find out what- 
ever facts are obtainable concerning the 
applicant's reputation, health, moral and 
financial standing. If the investigating 
committee reports favorably, the appli- 
cant is notified to attend for initiation. 
An initial fee of $5.00 is usually required, 
which is refunded in case of rejection. If 
the applicant is accepted, the additional 
fee, usually $10.00, is paid before his 
initiation, but in some cases this can be 
paid in installments within thirty or sixty 

The committees of the Knight of Col- 
umbus do not differ from those of other 
secret societies, odd numbers being the 



Chronological and Statistical 

Founded Feb. 2, 1882. 

First Subordinate Council Established 
May 15, 1882. 

First State Council Established 1892. 

National Council Established 1893. 

Number of State Councils, 1917,-52. 

Number of Subordinate Councils, 1754. 

Two Classes of Membership. 

Insurance Class. 

Associate Class. 
Associate Class Admitted 1893. 
Number in Insurance Class, 1914. 106,281 
Number in Associate Class, 1914.220,577 

Total Belonging 1914 326,858 

Total Belonging 1917 368,135 

Insurance in Force 1914. . . .$1 12,286,750 
Death Claims paid during 

year ending June 30, 1914 723,475 
Death Claims paid to date. . 7,308,682 


Assessments Collected to 

date 14,066,873 

First Initiation in 4th Degree, Feb. 22, 

Number in Class, First Initiation, 1,200. 

The Knights of Columbus issues insur- 
ance policies in sums of one, two and three 
thousand dollars to members between the 
ages of 18 and 60 years, who are able to 
meet the requirements of a physical 
examination by a medical inspector. The 
rates of insurance are adjusted every five 
years, until a member has attained the 
age of 60, when a flat rate, based upon his 
age at initiation, becomes operative. 

During the fiscal year ending June 30, 
1914, death claims amounting to $723,475 
were paid to beneficiaries. Since its or- 
ganization death claims amounting to 
$7,308,682 have been paid by the society. 
On January 1, 1905, there were in force 
43,537 policies, while on January 1, 1914, 
there were in force 106,281 policies, 
aggregating $112,286,750. 

The organizers, on May 15, 1882, met 
at New Haven, Connecticut, in a body 


known as The Supreme Council, and 
instituted the first subordinate council, 
which they styled "San Salvador Council 
Number i of New Haven." Subordinate 
councils multiplied rapidly, but were con- 
fined to the limits of Connecticut until 
April 15, 1885, when one was instituted 
at Westerly, Rhode Island. At the pre- 
sent time the Order has subordinate 
councils firmly established in every state 
in the United States, in every province in 
the Dominion of Canada, in Cuba, Porto 
Rico, Newfoundland, the Philippine 
Islands and Alaska. 

Owing to the rapid growth of the 
Order, one of the difficult problems has 
been that of regulating the number of 
members entitled to seats in the Supreme 
Council. The first effort resulted in a 
law declaring that this body should there- 
after consist of the Supreme Committee 
and one delegate for each fifty members 
of the several subordinate councils. Un- 
der this apportionment the Supreme 
Council soon became so unwieldly that on 
May 14, 1886, the Supreme Council, by 


resolution, became a Board of Govern- 
ment composed of the former Supreme 
Committee as Directors, and giving to the 
Grand Knight and Past Grand Knight 
of each subordinate council a voice and 
vote in its deliberations. As the Order 
extended its activities into the various 
states, the Board of Government again 
found it necessary to decrease the number 
of delegates. This was done by consider- 
ing the Board of Government as the Na- 
tional body and providing for State 
Councils, composed of two delegates from 
each subordinate council in the state. The 
name "Board of Government" was drop- 
ped and that of National Council adopted. 
The National Council consists of the 
State Deputy of each State Council and 
one delegate from every 1,000 members of 
the insurance class. 

The creation of the National Council 
was followed in October, 1893, by the rec- 
ognition of an entirely new and distinct 
class of members known as Associate 
Members. This class admits to member- 
ship men of advanced years, and those 


who, because of physical disability, are 
unable to pass the physical examination; 
and, finally, all men of Catholic alle- 
giance not desiring the insurance features. 

It is probably due to this latter class, 
numbering, on January i, 1914, 220,577 
members, as against 106,281 members in 
the insurance class, that has caused the 
Order to develop the social, educational, 
and charitable work in a marked degree. 
Notable work has been performed by the 
Order in promoting Catholic education, 
providing homes for Catholic orphans, 
endowing scholarships in Catholic 
colleges, providing lectures on Catholic 
doctrine, maintaining employment bu- 
reaus, and performing works of similar 
character. On every battle-field of 
Europe and in every cantonment of our 
own country, the Knights are found 
ministering to the wounded, the sick and 
disconsolate, while adding words of cheer 
and encouragement to the more fortunate. 
In 1904 the Catholic University at Wash- 
ington was given the sum of $50,000 for 
the endowment of a Chair of American 


History. "Columbus Day," the observa- 
tion of which has been legalized by the 
legislatures of fifteen states, is due mainly 
to the influence of the Knights of Colum- 
bus. These states are California, Colo- 
rado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, 
Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, 
Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New 
York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode 

Being national in character, the society 
has been largely instrumental in securing 
by the United States Government the 
splendid monument in Washington, 
erected to the memory of Columbus. As 
he gave to the world a new continent, it 
is but mete that the Knights should en- 
deavor to bring that continent under the 
influence of religion, good-will to men, 
and loyalty to the nation. 

A Fourth Degree was added to the 
work of the Knights of Columbus on 
February 22, 1900, when a class of 1,200 
candidates was initiated in New York 
City. These came from every section of 
the United States. The requirement for 


membership in this degree is that a can- 
didate has been a member of the Third 
Degree for a period of two years just 

In 1908 there appeared a new Order 
under the name of The Order of the 
Alhambra, and claiming to be a higher 
and more select branch of the Knights of 
Columbus. Its candidates are chosen 
from the members of the Third and 
Fourth degrees. This Order has been 
bitterly opposed by the Hierarchy of the 
Church on the grounds that its ceremonies 
are entirely foreign to the work of the 
Knights of Columbus. 



□ □ 

"MO r 3F5 





diagram of lodge room 
(first degree) 








Grand Knight. 

Past Grand Knight. 
Grand Chancellor. 
Captain of the Guard. 
Inner Guard. 
Outer Guard. 

Officers are elected by secret ballot, 
holding office for one year, with the ex- 
ception of the Chaplain and Outer and 
Inner Guards. The Chaplain is usually 
the Parish Priest. The Outer and Inner 
Guards are appointed by the Grand 





Your council should be opened 
promptly at the hour named in the By- 
Laws, and its business conducted with- 
out unnecessary delay. Nothing so deters 
members from constant attendance as 
long, tiresome sessions. 


The lawsof the Order and your own 
By-Laws should often be discussed. Your 
most valuable members are those who 
have an understanding of the laws. 


Your officers should commit t h e 
charges to memory; this will add more to 
the fame and honor of your council than 
anything else. 

The secret work should be practiced as 
often as circumstances will permit. It 


will give your officers confidence in them- 
selves, and teach your members the mode 
and use of the secret signs and words. 


The regalia shall be kept in the ante- 
room. Members will decorate them- 
selves there, and thereby avoid confusion 
and forgetfulness. 


Visitors, when unknown, must be 
thoroughly examined by the Captain of 
the Guard before admission. Every 
courtesy should be extended to visitors; it 
will greatly improve the reputation of 
your council. 


Visits, as a council to other councils, 
are greatly to be recommended; the 
latent blessings and virtues of our Order 
will, through such means, be brought into 
active play. 

The forms and language of the Ritual 
are law, and innovations or departure 
from them are positive and direct viola- 


tion of the Order. 

The affairs of your council should be 
conducted on strict business and social 
principles. Your business should be gov- 
erned by nothing but the laws governing 
the Order; your social intercourse by the 
strict etiquette of good society. 

In true accordance with military and 
fraternal usage, Superiors are to be 
looked up to as guides, and to be obeyed 
in all things pertaining to the discipline 
and welfare of the Order. 




1. The Secretary will read the minutes 

of the last regular meeting. 

Approval and corrections according 
to regular parilamentary law. 



The Grand Knight will investigate 
the applications and appoint the in- 
vestigating committee. 



Unfavorable reports dispense with 
the need of balloting. A favorable 
ballot elects to membership. 


White balls elect; one black ball re- 
jects. Errors may be corrected by 


Communications will be read by the 

Secretary, and filed or acted upon 
at the discretion of the Grand 
Knight or by motion of the Council. 


The Finance Committee will pass on 
all bills before they are submitted 
to the Council by the Treasurer. 



Initiations — ceremonies are carried 



11. RECESS. 

Dues may be paid at this time. 








(The Grand Knight will go to his chair 
and call the Council to order by one rap 
with the gavel.) 

Grand Knight — I am about to open . . . 

Council No.. . . of the Knights of 

Columbus. All persons not qualified to 
remain will now retire. 

When the Council Chamber is free 
from intrusion, the Captain of the Guard 
will distribute the ribbons to the officers, 
who will pin them on their lapels. 

Grand Knight (one rap) — Coun- 
cil ... . will now come to order. Brothers, 
remember your obligations. The Captain 
of the Guard will take the pass word. 

The Outer and Inner Guards take their 
places; the officers take their chairs; the 
Captain of the Guard takes the password. 
Both passwords are taken up in the 


Chamber, outer and inner. Any ordinary 
lodge room may be used as a Council 

The Grand Knight will occupy the 
highest chair. At his right the Chaplain, 
when present, will take his place. 

The official chair on the right side of 
the Chamber will be held by the Past 
Grand Knight. The official chair opposite 
the high chair will be filled by the Grand 

The official chair on the left side of the 
Chamber will be filled by the Captain of 
the Guard. 

The Secretary and Treasurer will have 
their places on either side of the Grand 

One rap calls the Council to order; 
two raps call the officers to their feet; 
three raps call the Council to its feet. 

Grand Knight — Brother Secretary, call 
the roll of officers. 

The officers stand and answer present as 
called by the Secretary, in the order of 
their seniority. 



Grand Knight Present 


Past Grand Knight 

Grand Counsellor 

Captain of the Guard 



Inner Guard 

Outer Guard " 


Grand Knight (three raps) — Knights, 
Brothers: We are now engaged in the 
noble work of our Order. Remember 
your promises and prove yourselves true 
Knights, loyal sons of the Holy Mother 
Church. We will now sing the opening 


Columbian Kni&hts here united, 

Let each one his pledges renew; 
By valor &reat wrongs may be righted 

And aid brought the honest and true. 
Our patriotic precepts require us 

To love and protect this free land; 
Let fraternity ever inspire us 

To deeds that are noble and &rand. 


Chaplain invokes the blessing (if he 
be present; if absent, the invocation may- 
be omitted) . 

"May the blessing of Almighty God, 
Father, Son and Holy Ghost, descend 
upon us and remain with us forever. 

The regular order of business is now 
carried out, as shown in the previous 




Grand Knight — Knights, Brothers: I 

am about to close Council No. 

Knights of Columbus. Let your 
light shine before the world, that the 
world may see the beauty of the Holy 
Mother Church and be led to the unity 
of true Christian brotherhood. We will 
sing the closing ode: 



Now on life's voyage we set forth, 

An earnest faithful crew; 
We journey east, west, south and north, 

For the &ood that we can do. 

And be the voyage lon& or short, 

And though the waves roll hi&h, 

We will safely reach the further port, 
On our bark we can rely. 

Then on life's voyage we will set forth, 

An earnest, faithful crew, 
We will journey east, west, south and north, 

For the &ood that we can do. 




Initiations are conducted in classes of 
ten or more. 

The candidates are assembled in the 

All candidates must have signed an ap- 
plication giving their names, ages, occu- 
pation, parish, and present a signed state- 
ment of their priest that they have made 
their Easter duty or have been to the 
sacraments at least once a year. 

These certificates dispense with all 
examination in the ante-room. 

The first degree is to test the faith of 
the candidates and to teach them the re- 
sponsibility of the act of faith. 

In all the degrees, the essential idea 
alone is to be safeguarded. The officers 
in charge are left to their own wisdom and 


ingenuity in coining words that will im- 
press the candidates. 

Unlike all other Orders, there is no in- 
violate verbal form of ritual. This wise 
method prevents a mechanical, parrot- 
like committing to memory of words and 
phrases, and allows the officers to develop 
their originality to the utmost. 


Grand Knight — Captain of the Guard, 
you will take your guards to the ante- 
room and lead in the candidates. 

The Captain and as many guards as are 
necessary, go to the ante-room and line 
up the candidates. The lights in the 
Council Chamber are dimmed. 

Then, to the sound of the organ, the 
candidates file into the chamber and are 
led around the room. The Council may 
sing some march tune, such as "Come, 
Holy Ghost." 





(■ i i 
1. Come, Ho ♦ ly Ghost, 

Cre • a • tor blest. And la «ur 


1. hearts take up Thy rest; 

I l l 

Come with Thy grace 

1 j—i 

a . J — 

—J ?— 

— "t~ — h 

■ « * — - — 


* —i — * 

1. aDd heaven -ly aid, 

To fill the hearts •which Thou hast 

— — = 

— c #— 

=d — f— h 

-i — 


H V- 

, 1 

— r a 

— i — ^ — 

1 iS- 

\-# — y- h 

— F — 


1. made, To fill the hearts which Thou hast made. 

9 0 9 

pH 1 


— 1 1 1" 

— ^ « 1 

■ ^ 


When all have been lined about the 
room, one light is allowed to burn dimly 
before the center altar, the Grand Knight 

will advance to the center and say: 


Grand Knight — Gentlemen, before you 
may go further into the Order of the 
Knights of Columbus, it is necessary for 
you to make an act of faith. Let every 
one answer for himself. 

Q. Do you believe in God? 
A. I do. 

Q. Do you believe in the three divine 
A. I do. 

Q. Do you believe in the Holy Roman 
Catholic Church? 
A. I do. 

Q. Do you pledge yourself to obey the 
Church in all that relates to faith and 

A. I do. 

Q. Do you pledge yourself to be a true 
Knight of this Order and to obey its laws 
at all times? 

A. I do. 

Grand Knight — It is well. Remember 
that you are Catholics, and for the future 
you will be Catholic Knights, always pre- 


pared to defend your faith and to give 
to those who walk in darkness a reason 
for the faith that is in you. 

Retire now to prepare for the second 

The organ plays a march. The Captain 
of the Guard and his men lead the can- 
didates to the ante-room. 


diagram of lodge room 
(second degree) 



The Captain of the Guard and his men 
go to the ante-room and prepare the can- 
didates in line. At a given signal they 
march into the Council Chamber to the 
sound of the organ. They are not blind- 
folded, but the Chamber is dark except 
for one light over the center altar. 

They march about the Chamber and 
form a hollow square, facing the center. 

The Grand Knight and the other 
officers are before the center altar. The 
Captain of the Guard advances to them 
and salutes. 

The Grand Knight, or some one ap- 
pointed, may ask the questions of the 

The lesson to be conveyed to them in 
the Second Degree is that most of them 


have no intelligent idea of what their 
faith consists of. They do not know even 
the catechism. 

The contrast between their prompt 
avowal of their faith a few moments be- 
fore in the First Degree, and the public 
exposure of their ignorance must be made 
as strong as possible by the officers of the 

The candidates must be impressed and 
stimulated to action, so that they may in 
the future spend more time in studying 
their religion and learning its tenets. 

If they are ignorant, how can they ex- 
pect to influence others and lead them into 
the Church? 

Grand Knight — Brothers, you have 
affirmed your faith. You believe in Holy 
Mother Church. Are you able to defend 
her if necessary? 

Thereupon, candidates are called by 
name and asked to repeat answers taken 
from the catechism. If there are any 
priests among the candidates, care must 


be taken to avoid asking them any ques- 

The questioner is allowed great latitude 
in his questions. Much of the success of 
the degree depends upon the subtleness 
and ingenuity of the questioner. For ex- 
ample, the questioner calls upon Brother 

Q. Brother , what is grace? 

Q. How many kinds of grace are 
there?, etc. 

After this catechetical quiz has gone on 
for some time, the Grand Knight gives 
the charge: 

Grand Knight — Brothers: You have 
sworn to defend the faith. Yet you have 
immediately demonstrated that you are 
unable to do so. 

You have failed in simple questions of 
the catechism. In former days, the clergy 
alone could instruct and guide the people; 
but today, the laity must be militant 
educators and light-bearers. The laity 
must assist the clergy. They must know 


their holy religion almost as well as the 

You, Brothers, have had an example. 
Go from here, resolved that you will study 
your faith and be able to speak the word 
of truth upon the proper occasion. 

Guards, lead the candidates to the ante- 
room to prepare for the Third Degree. 

The candidates file out under the 
leadership of the guard. 






Table 3 







G.K. CH.. 

□ □ 

diagram of lodge room 
(third degree) 




The personnel of the team which gives 
this degree is as follows : 

A Captain of the Guard in command 
of the team. 

A Decoy Priest. He wears the ordin 
ary street dress of the priest, with Roman 
collar and rabbi. 

A Secret Service man incognito. 

Enough initiated members to scatter 
through the candidates and urge them to 


Several robed assistants. The robe is 
made of any black cloth, fitted with a 
peaked cowl like a monk's habit. 

Several doctors attired as for the 
operating room. 



All members will wear black robes, 
entirely covering their regular habit, and 
will be masked. 

The Grand Knight will appear as usual 
his ribbon of office his only adornment. 

In the center of the Council Chamber 
will be a table with surgical instruments 
and bandages. 

A small room leading from the Cham- 
ber will be made as warm as possible. 
This room is known as the Hot Box or 
the H. B. 

When all is in readiness, the Grand 
Knight will direct the Captain of the 
Guard to send his men to their work. 

The assistants go to the ante-room, 
where the candidates are gathered. 

Their work is to stir up the candidates 
to anger if possible, using the decoy priest 
as a last recourse. 




Line up the candidates in such a surly 
manner that they will take offense and re- 
fuse to go into line. 

The line-up may be made according to 
seniority or in any fashion the team may 
judge efficient. 

Often an old priest, if any priests are 
to be initiated, may be called to head the 
line. The assistants may try to confuse 
and anger him by mispronouncing his 
name or calling attention to his position. 
Generally, it is not wise to push the priest 
too-far. Laymen are better subjects, and 
the dignity of the priesthood must be 

The best method to obtain results is 
to treat the candidates as though they 
were a crowd of school-boys, who needed 



a severe censure for every move made. If 
a candidate does not obey any order given 
to him, such as to stand for a certain posi- 
tion behind his fellow in line, to look 
straight ahead, etc., it is good to send him 
to the rear and hint that he may not be 
allowed to go on. 

Break the spirit of all, if possible, and 
make all obey timidly the smallest com- 
mand of the team members. 

If the candidates rebel and refuse to go 
on, the Captain of the Guard will be 
called. He will enter, wearing any seem- 
ingly disreputable robe, such as a bath 
robe, which has been soaked in whiskey, 
and giving the candidates the impression 
that he is drunk. The decoy members 
will artfully stimulate this suggestion. 

The Captain of the Guard will brutally 
inquire the cause of the trouble and when 
he has listened to the charges of the can- 
didates and the answers of his assistants, 
he will deliver his judgment. 

This is left to his ingenuity and histri- 
onic skill. He will invite the candidates 


to remember that they came as gentlemen 
to join an Order of gentlemen, and that 
unless they show the manners of gentle- 
men, they will all be disbarred from fur- 
ther entrance into the Order. The can- 
didates must trust the honor of the Order, 
and its greatness, and bear with any seem- 
ingly strange methods which they cannot 
understand at this time. 

As a last recourse to stir up the candi- 
dates, the decoy priest will leave the line 
and walk away. 

The Captain of the Guard will angrily 
question him : 

"Why are you leaving your place?" 

D. P. "I am sick. I want a glass of 

C. G. "Go back to your place. No 
one may leave his place for any considera- 

D. P. "But I am sick and I must have 
a glass of water or I shall faint." 

C. G. "Faint then." 

He orders his assistants to take the de- 
coy priest back by force if necessary. 


Meanwhile, the Secret Service man 
slips away and comes back with a glass 
of water, which he hands to the decoy 
priest. As the decoy priest takes it, the 
Captain of the Guards leaps forward, 
angrily, and knocks the glass from his 


If the candidates have not yet gone be- 
yond control, this always stirs them to 
fury, and they break ranks in angry con- 
fusion, struggling and shouting against 
the insult to the priest. 

The decoy members of the team skill- 
fully urge the stronger-willed candidates 
to shout defiance against the Captain of 
the Guard and his assistants. 

They suggest that he is drunk and that 
it is an outrage — it is an insult to the 

Many refuse to go on, and threaten to 
break down the door and leave for good, 
if they are not released. Some try to 
catch the Captain of the Guard, but are 
skillfully kept away by the decoys. 

The candidates are to be aroused to the 
last extreme of fury, but are to be handled 
so that they cannot do anything. 

If the candidates are strong enough to 
overcome the guards and demand apolo- 
gies and explanations, the Captain of the 
Guard is slipped away, and the Grand 
Knight comes out and quiets the tempest. 


He will see that the man is punished if 
he is guilty. If they will be patient and 
allow the work to go on, the case will be 
taken care of in due time. 

Then he goes back into the Council 
Chamber. The decoy priest helps to calm 
the candidates, by excusing the Captain 
of the Guard on account of his condition. 
He is not so much to be blamed because 
he is drunk. Gradually the candidates 
are calmed and go back into line. 




They are all blindfolded. They put 
their hands on shoulders. The guards 
give the signal, the doors are opened, and 
the candidates march into the Council 
Chamber. The organ is playing. They 
are marched around the room several 
times and halted in a hollow square fac- 
ing the center. The blinds arc removed. 
The doctors are seated around the table 
covered with surgical instruments and 
writing paper. The Grand Knight sits 
near the table. 

The members of the Order, all covered 
with black robes, stand behind the candi- 

The chief surgeon stands up and calls 
several of the candidates and decoys. The 
guards lead them to the table. 


Chief Surgeon — Before you may go 
further, you must show that you are 
worthy. You must submit to a test of 
your strength that will satisfy the Order 
that you are in earnest. 

He calls on one of the decoys to take 
the first test. 

Chief Surgeon — I have here a copy of 
the pledge which you must take to this 
Order. I have also a dagger (picking up 
from the table a dagger) . You will take 
this dagger, bare your arm, prick your 
veins and sign this pledge with your own 
blood. Are you willing to take the test? 

Decoy feigns reluctance, and plays that 
he is afraid to take the test. 

Chief Surgeon — You must take the test 
or you cannot go on. Are you afraid of 
a little blood? There are doctors here 
who will see that you do not injure your- 
self. Do you call yourself a man — afraid 
of pricking a little vein? 

Decoy — I cannot take such a pledge; 
you have no right to ask it. 


Chief Surgeon — You will step aside for 
a moment. We shall take up your case 
at once. (Calls one of the candidates.) 

Are you willing to take this dagger, 
prick a vein of your arm and sign your 
name to this pledge? 

Generally the candidate says yes, and 
prepares to undertake the task. But, be- 
fore he can do so, one of the guards whis- 
pers to the chief surgeon, who turns and 
addresses the candidates: 

Chief Surgeon — While we are trying 
the case of this candidate, who has refused 
the pledge, it will be necessary for all of 
you to retire. The guards will lead you 
to the room, where you will remain until 
you are again summoned. 




The organ plays, and the guards lead 
the candidates to the Hot Box. When 
they are all in, the door is fastened, and 
masked guards are stationed inside and 
outside of the door. 

The Hot Box must be small enough to 
make it difficult to move about easily 
without jostling. The Captain of the 
Guard is found inside and mingles with 
the candidates. He is as surly as he was 
in the ante-room, and the candidates feel 
their anger rising against him. 

The decoy priest soon complains of the 
heat and asks to be let outside. The Cap- 
tain of the Guard refuses to let him go. 
They quarrel, and the decoy priest says 
he is going to go out whether the Captain 
of the Guard likes it or not. 

The guards and decoys keep between 
the decoy priest, the Captain and the can- 


dictates. As the decoy priest starts to push 
the Captain aside, the Captain slaps him 
over the mouth. 

The decoy priest reels from the blow 
and blood seems to flow from his mouth. 
He has had some red gum in his mouth, 
which gives his sputum the appearance 
of blood. 

At once there is an uproar. Some of 
the decoys shout to be let out, others 
pound upon the door, and the candidates 
are roused to fury, and try to reach the 
Captain of the Guard. The inside and 
outside guards and decoys must protect 
him and see that the door is opened be- 
fore it is broken down. 

Then all rush out into the Council 
Chamber, shouting and gesticulating. 
They rush to the table, where the Grand 
Knight and the doctors are sitting. 

The Grand Knight and the doctors, as- 
sisted by the guards, try to make them- 
selves heard. At last they succeed in 
quieting the confusion to such an extent 
that they can listen to the candidates, who 
desire to mount a chair and say what they 




If necessary, a decoy starts the part. 
He stands on a chair and bitterly de- 
nounces the whole procedure. They came 
as gentlemen, as Catholics, to enter an 
Order that has been approved by the 
Church, and they are subjected to the in- 
dignities of drunken brutes. Even the 
sacred character of the priest himself is 
not respected. God's holy anointed is 
brutally insulted and even struck by a 
drunken wretch. 

He demands that the Captain of the 
Guard be summarily punished and 
thrown out of the meeting and the Order, 
and that the real work of the Order be 
taken up. 

As many as wish may make speeches. 
The most hotheaded and devout generally 


make the best talks. Some of the priests 
make especially eloquent pleas against the 
whole procedure, and many of the lay- 
men are discovered to be eloquent plead- 
ers, who never before had dared to speak 
in public. 

When all have finished, the Grand 
Knight stands upon the chair and begs 
them to be patient. He deprecates the 
unfortunate occurrence. The man will 
be tried at once. Seven men will be 
picked from their number as a jury. The 
charges will be made in due order, and 
the verdict of the jury will be received as 
final. Are they willing to abide by such 
a procedure? 

They answer yes. 

The candidates are then told to sit 
down in the chairs around the wall and 
the jury is selected. 

The secret service man is one of the 

The seven are called to the middle of 
the chamber and lined up before the 


Grand Knight — Gentlemen, you must 
give up all your valuables, and have your 
pockets entirely empty so that you may 
hand nothing to one another during the 

I must ask the Captain of the Guard to 
go among you and receive all that you 
have on your person. 

The Captain, amidst wild glares and 
murmurs, begins to take the things that 
the jurors hand over to him. Some gen- 
erally are very angry at him and show it 
by their manner; some do not care to 
hand him anything. 

The secret service man, especially, 
shows resentment, and at first refuses to 
give up anything. He objects to the pro- 
cedure. One of the guards comes up to 
him and runs his hands over his clothes. 
He resists, and the guard calls out that 
he has a revolver in his pocket. 

The Grand Knight asks him if it is 
true that he has a concealed weapon. He 
says that it is true. He is a secret service 
man and always carries a revolver. 


The Grand Knight — You must give 
it up. 

Secret Service Man — I will not give it 
up. 1 am under orders to carry it and 
never to allow it to pass from my posses- 

The Grand Knight — Captain of the 
Guard, you will see that this gentleman 
gives up his weapon. 

The Captain steps up to the secret serv- 
ice man and asks him for the weapon. 

Secret Service Man — You dirty brute, 
I would not give it to you in any case. 
The Captain catches hold of him and 


tries to drag the gun from his pocket. 
They struggle, and the guards close 
around them. 

Suddenly the revolver comes out in the 
secret service man's hand. Captain 
catches the hand and pulls it down, and 
then there is a flash and the sharp report 
of the weapon. The Captain reels back- 
ward, and blood pours out over his chest. 
He falls into the arms of the guards. 


The Captain of the Guard has a rubber 
bag full of red fluid under his robe. This 
is pierced by a knife just before the shot, 
and gives the delusion of blood flowing 
from his breast. 

Confusion reigns in the chamber. The 
priests rush to give the man absolution, 
some of the guards hurry away the secret 
service man, and the wounded Captain is 
carried out into the ante-room and the 
crowd is closed in the chamber. 

Experience has shown that the body of 
the candidates is always in a strange con- 
dition of mind during this period of wait- 
ing. The members go about and whisper 
of the terrible accident, and hint of the 
scandal if the newspapers find out about 
the affair. If the secret service man dies, 
it will be the end of the Knights of Co- 

The dramatic climax is worked up nat- 
urally until all the candidates are con- 
sumed with anxiety to know the worst. 

After ten or fifteen minutes the door of 
the ante-room is opened, and the Grand 


Knight walks into the chamber, followed 
by the doctors, the secret service man, and 
a well-dressed, clean looking man, whom 
all recognize as the Captain of the Guard, 
and the decoy priest. 

The Grand Knight takes the middle of 
the floor, with the others around him, and 
begins to speak: 

Grand Knight — Gentlemen and Broth- 
ers : When I have given the solution of 
the strange adventures which you have 
gone through this day, you will learn the 
most telling lesson ever devised to teach 
you that things are not always what they 

He turns to the decoy priest, and pulls 
off his collar and rabbi, saying: 

Grand Knight — Our good friend and 
brother here is not a priest at all. He 
bore all the outward marks, but the inner 
seal of the sacrament of Orders has never 
been imprinted upon his soul. He was 
playing a part, and that he played it well, 
I know. For I can see upon the faces of 
all of you, the expression of relief which 


comes to those who awake from a terrible 
dream and find that it was only a dream. 

And this good brother (turning to the 
secret service man and taking him by the 
hand) is not a desperate criminal, with 
the blood of his fellow upon his head. 
Our old friend, the Captain of the Guard, 
stands here beaming upon us. A short 
time past, you wished almost to tear him 
to pieces. You thought him a brute; you 
believed him a sacrilegious wretch who 
dared to raise his hand against the Lord's 
anointed. It was a delusion. The good 
Captain and the good pseudo-father had 
conspired together to deceive you. See 
how they love each other! (The two 
shake hands heartily.) 

Brothers, take this lesson to heart, and 
bear it with you in all your activities of 
life. Judge not by appearances. Things 
may not be what they seem. Suspend your 
judgment until there can be no mistake. 
Then act. Remember this lesson. Cherish 
it in your hearts. 


You have seen that men are led. Un- 
der certain conditions men will do things 
that they never would do if they were 

alone or stopped to realize what their acts 
may lead to. 

We asked you to take this dagger and 
let your own blood and write with your 
own blood your acceptance of our Order. 
We had no right to ask you to do such a 
thing. If you had insisted upon taking 
the pledge, you would have discovered 
that this dagger is a trick also. You could 
not have hurt yourselves. It is filled with 
red fluid, and when you pushed it against 
your arm, the red fluid would have flowed 
out and looked like blood (demonstrates 
with dagger). But it would have been 
wrong in intention anyway. If it had 
been a real dagger, some zealous brother 
would be sure to cut himself badly. 

Learn the lesson of your rights as an 
individual. You are responsible before 
your conscience to God alone. No one 
has any right to ask you to do an act which 
is evil, no matter for what purpose. Re- 
member this lesson. 


A more important lesson has been put 
in dramatic form for you on this occasion. 
You were many. The guards were few. 
Yet they were able to control you from 
the ante-room to the climax you have just 
witnessed. Why? They were an organ- 
ized unit and knew what they were doing. 
You were unorganized and did not know 
what to do. If at any moment, one or 
two of you had taken the lead and had 
gathered the forces of your body about 
you, you would have controlled and 
beaten the guards. Without leaders you 
were simply a mob, expending a great 
deal of energy, but accomplishing noth- 

Extend this lesson to your daily life. 
Study and work to be leaders of men. 
The world is sick because there are not 
enough in the active life of today who 
can visualize the meaning of life for man- 
kind. As Knights of Columbus, you must 
be leaders. You are sons of the old 
Mother Church, who is the divinely ap- 
pointed mother of men. 


Study her; learn her ideals, her God- 
given means of saving the world, and as 
laymen be missionaries in every walk of 
life. We must assist our clergy in their 
laborious work of saving souls. They are 
our spiritual guides and leaders. We 
must become leaders of the world, under 
their direction, and bring to this sad earth 
the kingdom of God and the brotherhood 
of man. All must be united in one grand, 
glorious band of humanity under the one 
mother church. 

"Remember, brothers, that the Church 
alone has the truth of God. We are her 
children. We must spread the truth. We 
have been given this blessing. As Knights 
of Columbus, we shall learn how to bring 
it to the whole world. 

"This is my charge: Think on these 
things; cherish the memory of this hour. 

"Raise your right hands and repeat 
after me this pledge of fealty to the 


" 'I now solemnly pledge myself to 
keep sacred the secrets of this Order; to 
be a loyal and true son of the Church, and 
a faithful member of the Knights of Co- 
lumbus. I will always be ruled by 
knightly courtesy in my relations with 
my fellow men. I pledge myself to God, 
to His Holy Church, to my country, to 
mankind, to be always a true Knight. 

"It is well, brothers. I shall now de- 
clare this Council adjourned." (Either 
for recess or until the next regular meet- 
ing, according to the arrangement agreed 
upon beforehand.) "The older members 
will greet their new brothers and extend 
to them the courtesy of Council." 

(Raps once.) 




The secret work is made a part of the 
regular council meeting for the benefit of 
new members, usually at the first meeting 
following the initiation. 

It is generally demonstrated by the 
Grand Knight, under the head of New 

The new members are led by the Cap- 
tain of the Guard to the Grand Knight's 

The Grand Knight addresses them: 

"Brothers, as duly accredited members 
of the Knights of Columbus, it is your 
right and your duty to become acquainted 
with the secret work of the Order. 

"The password is important. It ad- 
mits you to the Council Chamber. It 
must be kept a secret from all outsiders. 


"The word is changed once a year. For 
the present year it is: (One password 
was 'Knights of Columbus shall rule/) 

"When you come to a council meeting, 
attract the attention of the Outside Guard. 
Whisper in his ear the first half of the 
password. He will admit you into the 
ante-room. Rap upon the entrance of the 
Council Chamber. The Inside Guard 
will open the wicket and you will whisper 
into his ear the last half of the password. 
He will then admit you to the Council 
Chamber. You will walk to the center 
of the chamber and salute the Captain of 
the Guard with the usual military salute. 
When he returns the salute, you may take 
your place among the members of the 

"The Grip : The grip is given by shak- 
ing hands in the ordinary way, and giv- 


ing two distinct pressures with all the fin- 
gers. This is answered by one sharp pres- 
sure. The question which goes with the 
grip is, What council do you belong to?' 

"If any brother is in distress or needs 
aid to accomplish any work, generally in 
a crowd, he will call out, 'Are there any 
good men here?' If there are any Knights 
of Columbus present, they will answer, 
{ Yes I 1 and come to his assistance. 

"The training in the Third Degree will 
make it easy for a few to accomplish won- 
ders even in a large crowd. 

"Brothers, you are now duly accredited 
members of the Knight? of Columbus. 
You are initiated into the secvets of the 
Order. You may come in and go out as 
children of one family. I charge you to 
be faithful to the Order; true to your 
pledge. Never reveal our secrets to out- 

"As Catholics you have all the sanc- 
tions of the Church to keep you faithful. 
We have the approval and blessing of the 


Church. The Pope himself, our Most 
Holy Father, has given us his Apostolic 
benediction. If then — which may God 
forbid! — anyone is tempted to reveal our 
secrets, let him think well before he acts. 
Such a one would surely incur the curse 
of God. His name would become a by- 
word and a reproach among all honorable 
men. He would be shunned and cursed 
by all his former fellows, the conscience 
of a guilty wretch who has sold his soul, 
would sooner or later come home to him, 
to chastise him day and night until he 
made his peace with God and did true 
penance for his crime. 

"It is impossible to imagine a brother 
who could be guilty of such an act. He 
must first become a renegade and an un- 
believer, and join himself to the forces of 
the devil, who prowls about the world 
seeking whom he may devour. 

"He deserves the reception which the 
devil himself received from God — to be 
cast into eternal torture. Only the Infi- 
nite Mercy of God can save him from 
such a fate. Think well, then, brothers, 


of your acts and be ever true Knights, 
ready to do and die, if necessary, for the 
honor of God and the glory of His Holy 
Church. Amen." 



Free Masonry 


The first three degrees, as published in "Ronayne's Handl 
Book," termed the Blue Lodge Degrees, are common to 
all the Rites. The Scotch Rite exclusively covers 30 De- 
grees (4th to 33d inclusive). Blue Lodge and Chapter, 7 
Deg., or "Free Masonry Illustrated" 7 Degrees and "Knight 
Templarism Illustrated" 6 Degrees include the entire 
"York Rite' 'or "American Rite" Degrees. The York and 
Scotch rites are the leading Masonic Rites. 


By Edmond Ronayne, Past Master of 
Keystone Lodge, No. 639, Chicago. Latest 
Revised Edition, with portraits enlarged 
to 284 pages, 85 illustrations. 

Paper cover, pocket size $ .75 

Flexible cloth " " gilt top.... 1.25 

This work gives the correct or "Stand- 
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proper position of each officer In the 
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the Lodge, dress of candidate, ceremony 
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ferring the three degrees of "Ancient Craft Masonry," En- 
tered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason, the 
proper manner of conducting the business of the Lodge, 
and giving the signs, grips, pass-words, etc., all of which 

Accurately Illustrated With 85 Engravings. 

The oaths, obligations and lectures are quoted verbatim 
and can be relied upon as correct. In short, It is a com- 
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accuracy of this work. It contains the written and the 
"unwritten" work. No higher proof of the accuracy and 
reliability of this ritual could be given, than that it is 

Used Extensively in the Lodges by Officials 
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securely wrapped on receipt of price. 

By Edmond Ronayne. Bound in fine Cloth, 604 pages. 
> Price $2.00 

This book comprises the Hand Book of Free Masonry, 
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three degrees of Blue Lodge Masonry, and the complete 
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and economical volume. 


The complete and accurate ritual of the First Seven Ma- 
sonic Degrees of the Blue Lodge and Chapter, by a Past 
High Priest, with all Monitorial and Scripture Readings 
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First 3 degrees, cloth 1.35 


The complete and accurate ritual of the First Seven 
Masonic Degrees of the Blue Lodge and Chapter, by Ja- 
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trated. The exact Michigan "Work," with a Historical 
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Paper cover, $1.25; cloth, $2.00; First Three Degrees 
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The complete and accurate ritual of the First Seven 
Masonic Degrees of the Blue Lodge and Chapter, by a 
Past High Priest, with all Monitorial and Scripture Read- 
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foot-notes from the highest Masonic authorities. Com- 

plete work of 640 pages, the First Seven degrees compris- 
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This book gives the "work" of the following twenty-six 

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Alaska, Colorado, Connect- 
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lina, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Ontario, and 

Cloth $2.1)0, First 8 degrees, paper cover 75c; 

cloth $1.25. 


By Edmond Ronayne, Past Master of Key- 
stone Lodge, No. 639, Chicago. The work con- 
tains 406 pages, illustrated with 50 engravings, 
and is substantially bound in cloth. 

Price, 00 cents. 
Explains the true source and meaning of 
every ceremony and symbol of the Blue Lodge, 
showing the basis on which the ritual is 
founded. By a careful perusal of this work, a 
more thorough knowledge of the principles of 
the order can be obtained than by attending 
the Lodge for years. Every Mason, every per- 
son contemplating becoming a member, and 
even those who are indifferent on the subject, 
should procure and carefully read this work. 

By Edmond Ronayne. Bound in fine cloth. 
690 pages, 135 illustrations. Price $2.00. 

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By Edmond Ronayne, Past Master of Key- 
stone Lodge, No. 6 39, Chicago; Ex-Member 
of the Grand Lodge of Illinois, 312 pp. 
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By Milton A. Pottenger, 32\ A book for Masons. A 
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curate, with the sketch of the origin, history and character 
of the order. Over one hundred foot note quotations 
from standard authorities, showing the character and 
teachings of the order and an analysis of each degree by 
President J. Blanchard. This book contains an exact copy 
of the late official "Charge Books" issued by the Sovereign 
Grand Lodge, with the secret work accurately given and 
profusely illustrated, In use all over America. 

Paper covers, $1.00; Cloth, $1.50 


Revised and Amended Official "Ritual for Rebekah 
Lodges, Published by the Sovereign Grand Lodge, I. O. O. 
P.," with the Unwritten (secret) work added and the 
official "Ceremonies of Instituting Rebekah Lodges and 
Installation of Officers of Rebekah Lodges." 

Price paper covers, 45 cents; Cloth, 75 cents, 


Adopted by the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the Independ- 
ent Order of Odd-Fellows in September, 1885. An accur- 
ate copy of the Charge Book furnished by the Sovereign 
Grand Lodge, with the eighteen Military Diagrams and 
the Unwritten (Secret) Work added. 

Paocr cover. S5 rents rat h.